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John Heath Vaughan, MD

Daughter Nancy and Son-in-Law John's
Christmas Letter, 2007

Clinton, December 9, 2007

Dear friends and family,

Vaughan was missing from our picture last year, so it is only fitting that he figure prominently in this year's photo in his own digs in Boston and as the main subject of my holiday greetings to you. Yes, let me forewarn you, this is going to be one of those letters of unabashed praise for one's children. I usually resist the temptation, but I'm going to indulge myself this year. We visited Vaughan in Boston for his May birthday this year and took this picture at his apartment in the North End, the Italian section of Boston just across from the Big Dig, which, for those unfamiliar with Bostonian lore, is that city's attempt to put its major thruways underground as much as possible. Vaughan has been in Boston ever since his last two years at Suffolk University, from which he graduated in 2005. He has been working full-time at Pioneer Investments in one of the tall buildings behind us in the picture, so he has an easy 10-minute walk to work in the morning. His field for the moment is legal compliance, which, simply put, allows a company to police itself so as to avoid conflicts of interest that end up like the Enron and Worldcom disasters of a few years ago. Vaughan did a lot of travel for his company in the last year after he was chosen from among a thousand candidates around the world for 100 internships within Umcredito Italiano, the parent company of Pioneer. He was the only American chosen. Clearly, his bilingualism and his ability to adapt easily to other cultures helped him as he worked with Germans, Russians, Italians, and Turks on his particular mission, active portfolio management. He greatly enjoyed the experience, and we were always thrilled to receive post cards from the places where his team met on a monthly basis over almost a year: Turin, Munich, and Istanbul among others. For our part, we were proud to see our son working harmoniously with others from around the world and wish there were other opportunities today for us all to come together in a common purpose. I'll end my yearly greetings on that wish for greater international understanding and peace. A very merry Christmas and a happy new year to all of you.


Kate and I have been enjoying our fall in Clinton. We both love working in schools, Kate continuing to volunteer at the Saint Mary's after-school program and I teaching French at Westmoreland, five miles down the road. We have no shortage of stories to tell about our days-some adorable, some tough, some exasperating, and many hilarious. Our lives are rich and varied, rewarding and tiring. We look forward to the weekend, when "nap" is high on our activity list.

Vaughan will be with us for the holidays. We'll stay in Clinton through Christmas Eve, when we sing with the Saint Mary's choir-always an inspiring experience-and have our family celebration. Then on the 25th , the four of us will fly out to San Diego for a week (John and Kate for a little longer). I can't wait. Thankfully, the terrible fires there this fall did not reach any of my family, but it was a scary experience and devastating for a lot of people. We were particularly concerned for Meg, Mike, and David, who had had to evacuate four years ago when fires got within sight of their house. When we called Meg's cell phone this time, however, she and her family were out to dinner at a local restaurant. She had to have us hang on for a moment while she ordered her Pinot Grigio. It's not to say that the fires were far away. In fact, they were all around them, and she and others in her neighborhood had offered their houses to evacuees. People were helping people, and the restaurants were open!!

It feels as if after a lull of several years, the pages are starting to turn at a faster rate. Our friends and family are starting new chapters of their lives: children are arriving, marriages are taking place, some friends are retiring, and others are starting new adventures. John and I are feeling the excitement around us and are enjoying it. e is looking pretty good.

Love to all,